Inside the Playbook: Different Ways of Blocking Jet Sweep
Jet sweep is one of the core concepts teams use to attack the edge with speed. It's relatively cheap to install, serves as a great constraint for your primary run game, and serves as a great tool to diagnose defensive coverage/rotation as well as trigger down safeties to support the vertical play action pass. But not all teams run it the same, and teams that lean on it more tend to treat the blocking of it a bit different. This post is going to examine some of the ways you see jet sweep blocked.
Don't Block the 3-Technique
The way I was always taught Jet Sweep was as simple as:
- Backside to the 3-tech, block the run fake
- Outside the 3-tech, arc to the 2nd level (seal) or alley, depending on defensive numbers
Jet sweep to Hifo out of Tight bunch right. Should’ve been longest run of night— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 30, 2018
Love when we leave DT unblocked rather than DE. When you leave DE unblocked jet sweep is more likely to fail IMO. Aleva needs to keep his feet in bounds. This should be a 1st not a 2&6. #BCF #BYU pic.twitter.com/L6X9CHPH8G
BYU’s Jet Sweep from Empty— Coach Dan Casey (@CoachDanCasey) September 17, 2018
▪️LT leaves the 4i unblocked & Arc Releases for the Safety
▪️Jet hits too fast for the 4i to make the play
▪️Zone Blocking back to the Boundary if the QB keeps
Another great adjustment to the Double 4i Front! pic.twitter.com/g8RtbjPIx2
Most pro teams appear to prefer:— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 17, 2020
1) TEs/Condensed WRs - Rip/Arc
2) Inside the 5T - Block the backfield run/slip vertical to sealhttps://t.co/jRJ0E8AS1C
Some (Reilly here) block everything outside a 5T (if 5T goes inside, leave him) pic.twitter.com/fC2szubmmP— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 17, 2020
Play was dead anyway, but on an under center jet sweep you can’t leave the standup 5 tech unblocked https://t.co/fcWa2k9glL— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 24, 2019
OSU shows how to run jet sweep without using motion. Start him in a bunch formation and go at the snap of the ball. I like how they down block with the play side tackle and the guard pulls to block the DE. pic.twitter.com/NgVGilMl4g— icoachtowin (@1coachtow1n) March 21, 2019
See how this fits well with BASH plays
And another way to mitigate the 5-tech getting vertical
JET SWEEP ... is that unblocked DE a problem when he runs up the field? If so,run the LONG TRAP like the #49ers do here. That will get those defensive coordinators “scratching their heads” and “shuffling their papers” (homage Don Breaux) pic.twitter.com/y19SoKvqhx— Paul Alexander (@CoachPaulAlex) October 28, 2019
Arc the Furthest Playside
Matt Canada, a jet sweep master, gives the option of blocking it to the closed or open side by always dictating that the furthest outside will arc. This means all TEs in the closed direciton, or the open side tackle if the run is that direction. Interestingly, those same players will still sometimes arc even on the jet fake, which holds the backside of the defense even when you are giving on the traditional outside zone path.
Matt Canada will arc at least the further backside (either all TEs, or for an open formation, the OT). Interestingly, he'll still do this on the backside of the backfield run concept (i.e. he'll still do it at times with OZ away from motion) pic.twitter.com/xtmX559cxV— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 17, 2020
Another interesting wrinkle from Canada is that he is more than willing to run the jet action to and away from backfield action. OZ to the jet still works by helping widen the front, and you can just block the sweep with that action (or even lead with the RB) if you want to be able to do both from the same initial look.
Split Blocking Based on Numbers/Alignment
Some teams will simply run split blocking (note: not split zone, but split the line at some point on who is blocking one direction, and who the other) based on the numbers on defense and their alignment. This allows offenses to ensure they have adequate numbers to block the edge and theoretically not give up penetration which blows up the play.
You’ll even get some split blocking, in this rare instance from Rams likely based on Defensive numbers and/or field position where the RG swims the 3T pic.twitter.com/6tOZn93U82— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 17, 2020
Arc Backs, Slip the Line
Paul Chryst, who has dabbled in the world of jet sweep himself, will utilize his bevy of backs (FBs and TEs) to arc to the second level. Meanwhile, his OL will initially work the same direction as the back, but slip to the second level, either to seal the LBs inside, or race out and kick the edge.
Chryst has traditionally arced with TE/FBs and slipped vertical with OT/OG, here, in 2018 pic.twitter.com/1VSqFD8ABa— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 17, 2020
And how it works even when he doesn't have backs
Here again in 2019 to the weakside (i.e. no arc block), with the WR blocking the safety and the OT slipping vertical and then racing to the CB pic.twitter.com/T1QavM2wqr— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 17, 2020
On occasion, you'll see an off Y-Off counter step to sell backfield action before arcing.— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 17, 2020
In 2020, Wisconsin tweeked the blocking scheme and counter stepped the hole front side before pulling to the ally. First time I've seen this, hard sell the IZ pic.twitter.com/JbdOPcT0Ex
Not exactly jet sweep, but slipping all first level blocks
Better have a back that can go from a stationary position but really cool if you do. Also need to make sure you get edge on overhang/safety because no one is slowing DL pursuit.— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) January 10, 2021
Similar to blocking jet, why waste blocks on guys that can’t make the play https://t.co/JRjxbTSvmX
Rip and Go
If you run a lot of gap schemes rather than zone, just rip and go wide zone blocking is sufficient to sell the backside action (i.e. it sells down blocks), so just go ahead and block the sweep path and don't worry about leaving someone unblocked.
Some gap teams will just run a pure rip OZ scheme, as at the snap it'll sell a gap scheme and is enough hesitation to handle the edge pic.twitter.com/7B1ljYcEh8— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) November 17, 2020